The ‘Omnipresent’ Lucknow Boy With Umpteen Dreams & Endless Energy
The Interview

The ‘Omnipresent’ Lucknow Boy With Umpteen Dreams & Endless Energy

The biggest footprint on his character, however, is of his late maternal grandfather (Nana) Lt Col GC Khosla who taught him “humility, how to stay grounded and disciplined“.

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HE IS THE PROVERBIAL MAN OF ALL SEASONS. He is seen everywhere – be it Page 3 parties, the eventful do’s, sporting events, political gatherings, rubbing shoulders with the high n’ mighty.

Yes, the 44-year-old GAURAV PRAKASH seems to be omnipresent in the land of nawabs, Lucknow.

The News Agency Editor-in-Chief MOHIT DUBEY caught up with the dapper Lucknow ‘boy’, who is a partner in the family business – the 80-plus-year-old Universal Booksellers, as he dabbled between the people waiting to meet him and being the dutiful businessman, issues directives to the staff and signing on the receipts.

Ask him about the endless energy he seems to be oozing with and his already-pink cheeks glow a shade more. “Well, it’s all God’s grace. He has been kind…I only try to offer the best that I am capable of” he muses as we sip the piping hot coffee he graciously ordered and which complimented the rainy weather that gave the city some respite from the sultry weat

Father of two adorable children – Aaradhya and Aryan, Prakash in a moment of candour admitted that while he had his eyes set on his life goal – to be of some use and help to people around, both known and unknown, he says with conviction that he will achieve this dream of “help-all” before he walks into the sunset and “leaves the planet“.

And it’s this ability and challenge of trying to be of some worth to people that gives him the kick. “Whenever I am able to be of some help to anyone, it makes my day and reboots me for many more such endeavors” he said with a glint in his eyes. He added that the ability to connect with both the masses and the classes was “something he inherited from his father“, the affable and loved-by-all and sundry Chander Prakash.

He can put a rickshaw puller, a daily wager, a peon, kids at functions at complete ease. There is no change when he is seen in the same frame as the millennium star Amitabh Bachchan or ‘King Khan’ Shahrukh Khan. Having traveled extensively – both on spiritual and vocational paths, Gaurav, when asked about the probability of him taking a political leap sometime in the future, is thankfully truthful.

“Well, why not? he asks with a smile. For a young man who sees politicians as a means to help more and more people, the Cancerian says however that offers have not come to him so far but if they come, certainly “when the bridge comes….it will be considered“!

A self-professed foodie, a bad cook though, he loves his plateful. Rice-Rajma, Kadhi-Chawal, Mutton, Kebabs and what not…he sends you on a gastronomic trip as he lists his favourite dishes. Arrogance, dishonest and disloyal people put him off. He prefers to be rich but with a condition that he will, mandatorily help people “in need and distress“.

Surprisingly for a person who loves his liquor outings every now and then and is a friend of friends, he has a deeply spiritual side as well. He is a devotee of Lord Shiva, Shirdi Sai and Satya Sai Baba who has traveled to Gangotri, Hemkund Saheb, Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gaumukh, Kailash Mansarovar and Amarnath. Ask him about faith and he says “its a feeling that goes beyond words and has to be felt“.

“My faith in the supreme being, the power that runs the cosmos is immense and complete and I think that is what keeps me going, and will keep me going till my last breath“, he quips. Ask him of regrets and he is open in admitting that the bane of his life was being “an emotional fool” and thus getting tricked by many!

“But it’s okay as far as I am clean hearted and mean no ill for anyone” he points out while leaving such things to Karma, which he says does not forget the address! We couldn’t agree less Gaurav.

(The writer can be reached at mohit.d@thenewsagency.in)

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